Lost Pets

How to Find a Lost Pet

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DAP reminds all pet owners to make sure your dog or cat are licensed, wearing a tag, and has a registered microchip.

Lost pets brought to the Denver Animal Shelter without identification are held for five calendar days. Animals with identification are also held for five calendar days while their owners are contacted. All lost pets at our shelter can be viewed on our Lost Pets page.

If your pet is at Denver Animal Shelter, visit the Redemption Process and Fees page for information about reclaiming your pet.  


Prevent your pet from getting lost

Protective Barriers

Make sure windows are closed and have screens. Dogs should always be kept on a leash when outside; ensure your yard, doors, and gates are secure.


Microchips with up-to-date info are extremely important! If your lost pet is brought to any shelter or veterinary office, they will scan them for a microchip and contact you. DAP reunites hundreds of animals per year specifically because of microchips. If your pet is not microchipped, have one implanted ASAP. If your pet is microchipped, call your microchip company and make sure the information is up to date. Not sure if your pet has a microchip? You can bring your pet to your veterinarian or Denver Animal Shelter to be scanned to check for a microchip, get the chip number, and register it with your information today. A microchip must be updated manually every time you move or change your contact information. You can update microchip information for free at the Found Animals website.

Collar, Tags, and Leash

Make sure your dog wears a collar and tags with up-to-date contact info. Always walk your dog on a leash. Make sure your collar and leash are not deteriorating and are fitted correctly to ensure they are not too tight or too loose.  

Dog License

Make sure your dog is licensed in Denver. Our new PetHub smart license tags provide technology where you can upload your pets profile, including medical information, microchip, pictures, addresses, phone numbers, and much more. To find out more about how to get a PetHub smart license tag, visit out Pet Licensing page

Prep with pet photos & details

Make sure to have a recent, full-body photo on hand in case your pet goes missing. Being able to see your pet in their entirety is very helpful for shelters and people assisting in the search. Other details to have ready are approximate weight, age, and any distinctive features/markings on your pet.

How to find a lost pet

Here are some tips and tricks to help you if your pet is lost:

  1. Start searching ASAP! It’s rare for pet to come home on their own. Odds are, a good Samaritan has taken them in or brought them to a shelter. The sooner you start looking, the sooner you and your pet will be reunited!
  2. Check DAP’s lost pets page at least once every day. Our website is updated hourly with photos and descriptions of lost pets. Dogs and cats can enter our care weeks or months after they go missing.
  3. Search the neighborhood and put up flyers. Make sure to search within a few miles of your home and don’t be afraid to knock on doors. Flyers should include a full-body picture, name, short description, and contact info.
  4. Check/post in online communities such as NextDoor, Facebook, and more. For a list of useful websites, pages, and groups view our lost pet info card(PDF, 579KB).
  5. Don’t give up! Stay persistent! Keep following these tips! It can take time, but many pets are reunited with their families after months of being lost.


Prepare for your pets safety while you're on vacation(PDF, 840KB)

Denver Animal Shelter
1241 W. Bayaud Ave.
Denver, CO 80223
Location and Hours

Officer Dispatch: 720-913-2080
All Other Inquiries: 3-1-1 or (720) 913-1311

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